Opinion writing is a fun and challenging way to express your thoughts on a topic. When given the assignment to write an opinion essay, it’s important to remember that your opinion is just that – your opinion. You need to back up your argument with evidence if you want to persuade your reader to agree with you.
Let’s discuss the basics of opinion writing and give you some tips on how to craft a convincing argument.
The basics of opinion writing
Opinion writing allows you to share your thoughts on a topic. In this type of assignment, you state your opinion on a topic and then support it with reasons and examples.
Argumentative essays are a great way for kids to express their thoughts and beliefs.
Choose a topic you feel strongly about.
Once you have chosen your topic, it’s time to brainstorm. Your topic can be something like whether animals should be kept in zoos or whether kids should have homework. What do you think about the topic? Why do you feel this way?
Next, gather evidence to support your opinion.
Your evidence may include events from your own life, stories you have heard, or facts and statistics.
Once you have collected evidence, it’s time to write your opinion piece:
- Clearly state your opinion.
- Then, use your evidence to support your argument.
- Finally, restate your opinion and give a call to action (such as asking the reader to agree with you).
Following these steps, you can write a compelling opinion piece that will persuade your reader to see things your way!
How to craft a convincing argument for Opinion Writing
Believe it or not, opinion writing is a bit of a science. To compose a convincing argument, you need to understand the basic building blocks of persuasive writing.
Identify Your Audience.
First, you need to identify your audience. What are your audience’s beliefs and values? What are their concerns? Once you know who you’re writing for, you can start to address their needs.
Your audience includes classmates and your teachers if you are a middle school student.
Make a Clear & Concise Claim.
Next, you need to make a clear and concise claim. State your opinion on the matter at hand.
Examples of clear and concise claims for an opinion essay:
- Animals should not be kept in zoos.
- Kids should not have homework.
- Cell phones are not a distraction in school.
Notice how the above claims are simple, concise, and effective?
Back up your opinion with evidence.
When you write an opinion essay, you need to back up your opinion with evidence. Backing up with evidence means giving reasons and examples to support what you say.
In other words, you must convince your audience that your opinion is correct.
One way to do this is by using a “because” statement.
I believe cell phones are not a distraction in school because they can be used to research information during class.
I believe kids should not have homework because it takes away from family time.
See how the above opinion statements are backed up with evidence? This is what you need to do in your opinion essay.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a persuasive piece that is sure to win over any audience.
5 Tips for persuading your reader
When it comes to opinion writing, persuasion is key. After all, your goal is to convince your reader that your point of view is valid.
Here are five tips to help you persuade your reader:
1. Make a strong argument.
A strong argument means clearly stating your opinion and providing evidence to support it. Be sure to address any counterarguments and refute them.
A counterargument is an objection to your opinion. It is something that your reader may say to try and dispute your assertion.
The best way to refute a counterargument is by providing evidence that proves your opinion is correct.
2. Use strong language.
Choose words that evoke emotion and convey the importance of your opinion.
Some examples are: essential, necessary, significant, vital, crucial, indispensable, critical, key, fundamental, powerful, inspiring, motivating, love, rigorous, and valuable.
3. Be convincing.
To sound convincing, you need confidence in your opinion and to present it in a way that is easy for the reader to understand.
4. Be persuasive.
Use logic and reason to convince the reader of your opinion. Be sure to back up your argument with data and facts.
5. Be clear and concise.
Use simple language and avoid rambling or going off on tangents. Get to the point and make your opinion known.
By following these tips, you can be sure your opinion will be heard loud and clear.
See 20 of the Best Middle and High School Writing Books.
Common mistakes to avoid in opinion writing
There are a few avoidable opinion writing mistakes that can easily be fixed!
Here are three to keep in mind:
- You are not staying on topic. If you are going off on a tangent, reel it back in and stay focused on your opinion.
- You are overusing “I” statements. Using too many “I” statements can make your opinion sound egotistical. Try to balance them out with other words and sentences.
- Lacking evidence. Make sure that you have enough supporting evidence for whatever opinion you’re sharing. Without evidence, your opinion may come across as unsubstantiated or, worse, uninformed.
Opinion writing can be a great way to share your thoughts and convince others of your point of view. Avoid these three common mistakes!
Topics for Opinion Essays for Middle School
- Should students be required to wear uniforms?
- Should schools start later in the morning?
- Should students be taught more about financial literacy?
- Is too much emphasis placed on standardized tests?
- Should there be more extracurricular activities offered at schools?
- Are smartphones and social media a distraction in school?
- Should students be allowed to grade their own work?
- Is cheating getting worse in schools?
- Are teachers being paid enough?
- How can schools best deal with bullying?
- How can schools better support students with special needs?
- What is the most important thing that schools should teach?
- Is homework helpful or harmful?
- Should boys and girls be treated equally in school?
- Is it fair that some schools have more resources than others?
- How can we make school lunch healthier?
- Is it important to learn a foreign language in school?
- Should students be required to do community service?
- What is the best way to deal with discipline problems in schools?
- Are charter schools a good idea?
- How can we reduce violence in schools?
- What is the role of technology in education?
- Should creationism be taught in science class?
- Is year-round schooling a good idea?
- Should physical education be mandatory in schools?
- What are essential life skills that schools should teach?
- Should sex education be taught in schools?
- How can we make schools more eco-friendly?
- Should students be allowed to have cell phones in school?
- How can we better motivate students in school?
See Why Writing Is Important & How to Help Your Kid Excel At It.
Opinion Writing tips for Parents of Middle Schoolers
Opinion writing can be a tricky skill for middle schoolers to master. Your child can learn how to express their opinion clearly and concisely with some practice.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Help your child choose a topic they are passionate about. If they are passionate about an issue, it will be easier for them to write with conviction and keep their interest throughout the writing process.
- Once they have chosen a topic, please encourage them to do some research. The research will help them to develop a well-informed opinion and back up their argument with facts.
- As they start to write their opinion piece, remind them to stay on topic. It can be easy to get sidetracked when expressing an opinion, but narrowing the focus will help make their argument more convincing.
- Finally, encourage them to revise and edit their work. Effective opinion writing is an important skill for middle schoolers to learn, and with a bit of practice, your child can master it! Revision is where they can fine-tune their argument and ensure they present it clearly.
Opinion writing is an essential skill for young students to develop. Not only will it be an essential part of their schooling, but being able to express and support their opinions will also be helpful in their future lives and careers. Sometimes it helps to provide them with opinion writing topics and prompts tailored explicitly for middle schoolers.